ANN ARBOR, MI – When the 2010 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament rolls around on January 18th, the Bismarck Bobcats will be the most well-represented team in the Central Division thanks to a strong finish to the first half of the 2009-10 season.
Thanks to their 18-8-6 record, the Bobcats entered the NAHL’s holiday break alone atop the Central standings—meriting them an automatic six roster spots on Team Central for the NAHL’s answer to an all-star weekend.
“One of the goals we set for ourselves was to be in first place at Christmastime – the sole reason being the amount of players we’d be able to send to the Top Prospects Tournament,” said Bobcats head coach Byron Pool.
“Just look at the number of players who’ve played in the tournament the last two years who’ve went onto play Division I college hockey and you realize it’s an outstanding opportunity for our players to showcase their skills to coaches at the next level,” he added. “We’re extremely excited and proud that we’re able to send six players to this prestigious tournament.”
Nearly 30 players who participated in last year’s second-annual Top Prospects event eventually secured D-I scholarships. Each year, the six-game showcase draws in over 100 collegiate and professional scouts, making it one of the most highly scouted hockey events in the country.
The six Bobcat players—yet to be named—won’t be the only ones representing Bismarck at Top Prospects, though, as Pool himself will be the head coach of Team Central by virtue of the Bobcats’ .656 winning percentage at the break. Pool will be assisted by Owatonna Express head coach Pat Cullen (.569).
The Express will send five players to the January event while the North Iowa Outlaws and Alexandria Blizzard will each send three players and the last-place Albert Lea Thunder will have two selections.
Additionally, Pool and Cullen will select one wild card player from among the five Central Division rosters.
Team Central opens the Top Prospects weekend on January 18th against Team West.
The Bobcats have the Christmas weekend off before returning to regular season action on New Years Eve with a 7:15 PM contest at the VFW Sports Center against the rival Alexandria Blizzard.
The game will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide at BismarckBobcats.com via B2 Networks. The pre-game show starts at 6:45 PM.
You won\’t want to miss any of the games this season, so order your Season Tickets, Family Packs and Group Nights today by calling the Bobcat Hockey Office at 701-222-3300 or by e-mailing the office for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.